me time + mommy guilt

We’re currently pretty deep into a 4-month sleep regression as well as some pretty nasty teething. While M used to sleep a good 8-10 hours every night, now we’re lucky if we get 6 at a time. Somedays are better than others. This morning was not one of those days…

I’m pretty used to M waking up at least once in the middle of the night. Last night/this morning was right around 3 AM. I nursed her and she went right back down.

My alarm goes off at 4:15 every morning. Yes, extremely early, but it gives me a chance to go to the gym to run or lift so I can spend more time with M in the evening. This morning, I got up and was about ready to head out the door when I heard crying.

I knew she couldn’t be hungry since I had just fed her an hour ago. So, I knew it had to be her teeth. I’m not letting her cry it out (yet), so I scooped her up, grabbed a teething toy, and rocked her until she calmed down again.

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Window of opportunity to work out – GONE. I know I need to be flexible with a baby. I’ve learned that. And while I’m not upset that I had to miss my work out (OK, I am just a little), I’m upset that I lost my ‘me time’ for the day. And being upset about losing my me time only brings me one thing: mommy guilt.

I love my little girl more than anything in the world and the fact that I’m upset that I had to spend time with her instead of at the gym makes me feel so guilty. But the fact is, I need that time. For me.

As any mom can tell you, working or not, being a full time mom is hard. Sometimes we just need those 30 minutes of alone time to stay sane. And when it doesn’t happen, is it OK to feel guilty that I wanted that me time instead of that time with my baby?

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It’s definitely a balancing act not only with finding time for myself and MacKenna, but also with my emotions. I’m still learning to prioritize and figure out when it’s OK to have a little guilt for the sake of my mental health. (While still letting my husband get sleep and time for himself too. I obviously suffer from wife guilt too since I feel awful anytime Matt has to wake up before his alarm goes off.)

How do you find time for yourself? Anyone else suffer from mommy guilt when working out?

  • Debbie

    Totally agree! But just think of what a great example you are setting for MacKenna. When she’s a little older you’ll get to really see what an impact your healthy lifestyle is making on her. I love when my kids see me working out at home and want to join me. And I also appreciate that you recognized that ALL moms are full time moms ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kristen

      Thanks Debbie! Are you sick of me complaining yet?! And yes, I LOVE being able to set a good example with MacKenna early on. I’m hoping that her seeing me run every day will make her want to run with me when she’s old enough!

  • I hear young. I struggle more with feeling bad asking my husband to get up early or go out of his way since I’m currently home all day. We still haven’t figured out a way for me to get to the gym on a regular basis. It’s frustrating, but I’m trying to be patient in the process.

    • Kristen

      Right, I totally understand. When I was on maternity leave, I finally figured out that the only way I was guaranteed a workout was if I did it before either of them (hubs or baby) woke up. Of course, like this morning, sometimes that backfired on me, but really, it’s important to have that time for YOU!

  • I know nothing of Mommy guilt… but I did want to say that I love that first picture. It’s like baby camouflage.
    Abby recently posted..Roommate Reunion Race and โ€˜Ritas: The Facebook Conversation

    • Kristen

      Haha, isn’t it great! One of my favorite pictures!

  • Ah, mom guilt. Wife guilt. Dog-mom guilt. It’s all there! The thing for me is, when I go long enough without any “me time” I start to feel resentful, and to me that feels worse than guilt. It’s so hard, but so important, to let the guilt go. Being a mom means everything to me, and at the same time it’s not everything that I am. And it shouldn’t be! I think that, to be a good mom, you have to honor the parts of yourself that existed before. I work full time too, and so I know how conflicting it feels to want more time for yourself (translation: more time away from your baby) when you’re already gone for so much of the day. It’s totally a balancing act, and for me one that changes every day.

    • Kristen

      Yes! I definitely start to feel resentful and I actually start to throw a pity party for myself when I know all my husband is trying to do is help. I think I end up making him feel pretty bad about himself (actually I know I do this). I have to remember that it’s OK to be selfish sometimes.

  • Ditto to everything! So much to get used to!
    Noelle (@singerinkitchen) recently posted..Chilled Cranberry-Cherry Soup

    • Kristen

      Glad I’m not the only one! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’m not a mom, but the biggest thing I picked up from my mom growing up was not how she treated me, but how she treated herself. If you know you need me-time (and we all do) don’t feel guilty about it, feel good that you know yourself and value yourself enough to be such a great example of self-worth and fitness to your daughter. I imagine the love for your kids is a lot like the love for a spouse or other family member – there is no doubt that you love them, but that doesn’t mean you have to like every aspect of every interaction of them. And that doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you human. =)

    • Kristen

      Thanks for the reminder that I am human and it’s OK to be selfish at times!

  • Jen

    I agree with every single thing in this post. You’re an awesome mom, girl! keep up the great work ๐Ÿ™‚
    Jen recently posted..Why being a mom makes you faster

    • Kristen

      You’re post yesterday sort of sparked all of this in me, ha!

  • I have definitely been in your shoes! I swear there were mornings when my kids would wake up an or a half hour before my alarm went off on purpose. I would get them settled and back in their crib – but then I would talk myself out of working out because I didn’t the sleep I needed. Then I would feel guilty for being frustrated and guilty for not working out. In the grand scheme of things — I wish I had stopped feeling guilty. Enjoy the time you have to yourself. It makes more tolerant, gives you the energy you need, and makes you a better mother. Parenting isn’t about quantity — it’s about quality. And really you’re just a good role model! The 4-month sleep regression is hard — hang in there!
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  • I totally understand the guilt. I feel bad when Olivia is napping in the swing for too long (should I be holding her? Should I be doing something more productive than what I’m doing? Should I feel bad about being happy that she’s sleeping?) Oh it’s terrible but I try and remind myself that it’s okay to enjoy me time. Ultimately your baby won’t remember this time, and having me time is a good thing, so we need to take care of ourselves to be the best we can for our little ones!
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